NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A melee at Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Brooklyn the day after Christmas was captured on cellphone video.
According to police, the flash mob involving as many as 300 teenagers, mostly 15 and 16 years old, began a short time before the Mill Basin mall closed at 9 p.m. on Thursday.
Watch Video Of The Incident:
Social media quickly erupted with all kinds of rumors, prompting an email from the 63rd Precinct Community Affairs office, denying there was a riot, any injuries, or significant damage, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Friday.
“Take the jar and broke the one jar, like $50 damage candy and the jar. It’s like almost $100 damage for me,” one candy kiosk owner said.
Police responded to the mall and escorted the teens out. No arrests were made. It was unclear how the mob of teenagers came together or planned the disturbance.
Mall employees like Greg Casiano told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco they had to close up shop early as police and mall security got the melee under control.
“When I saw outside, downstairs I was looking and I saw a mob, several kids fighting yesterday and its too much,” Casiano said. “A lot of kids running, and I’m hearing screaming so the security guard said there’s a little security issue, you have to bring down the gates to keep the consumers, our customers safe.”
As a result of the flash mob, the NYPD patrolled outside the mall on Friday and the mall’s management office announced a new policy barring anyone under the age of 18 being allowed in without being accompanied by an adult, 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported.
“It’s like a night club. Basically, if you don’t have an ID you can’t get in,” 18-year-old Alisha Odit told Carrasco.
“I think it’s crazy. What if I want to go in there and buy something? Like, this is the public and we should be able to get in there,” Christine Andrews of Brownsville told Aiello.
“It’s ridiculous. I’m trying to buy some stuff, late Christmas gifts, and I can’t get in,” added John Edouard of Brownsville.
“That’s not fair. If they want to make money they should let everyone in. If you’re gonna start a fight of course you should be kicked out but not because you’re young,” said Moshoou Animashaun of Canarsie.
“We came here to shop, not to start anything, so basically we came here for nothing and now we have to go back home,” added Shaquille Scotland of Canarsie.
The decision to deny entrance to unaccompanied minors drew mixed reaction from adult shoppers.
“Generally speaking, I think it’s unfair to deny teenagers the opportunity to be in the mall, shopping by themselves,” said Thalia Francis of East Flatbush.
“Have to do what you have to do. I guess it’s their decision to stop things like that from happening,” added Ken Sapienza of Marine Park.
“I don’t know, maybe they’re trying to calm down with so much kids coming here, being reckless. I guess it probably makes sense, for now, you know?” said Rodney Francois of East Flatbush.
The policy will be in place indefinitely. Officials did not say how it’ll be enforced. In fact, some underage teens told Carrasco security guards didn’t stop them Friday night.
“He said ‘oh whatever, go in, you’re not a bad person,’ so that’s why stuff like that happens — security ain’t that good,” 15-year-old Jonathan Rodney said.
“I just came from the mall. They can’t tell us nothing,” 15-year-old Breeanah Thomas added.
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